An important part of choosing access control is understanding the questions to ask when choosing the right access control system for your facility. Controlling access to your facility is a vital part of helping protect your business from crime. To do this, you need to find an access control solution that fits your unique needs.
- Who needs access to your facility?.
- Do you need to receive after-hours deliveries or allow access to a regularly scheduled cleaning or maintenance crew?
- Will you want to grant temporary access to visitors?
- Are you concerned about preventing employee theft?
- Do you want to monitor multiple locations from one application?
- Are there high-risk areas at your facilities, such as offices or stockrooms that only certain employees need to be allowed to enter?
Knowing your specific needs is vital to choosing the access control solution that is right for you. Once you have an idea of those requiring access to your facility and what areas you should secure, there are additional considerations to further identify your specific access control needs.
Identifying Your Specific Needs
To guide your decision making process, here is information to be ready to provide to the access control system specialist who will be helping you choose the right system, installing it, and servicing it:
The range of systems spans simple standalone one door solutions and continues to the other end of the spectrum which could potentially be thousands of doors and areas in a full scale enterprise system.
Consider solutions that are likely to continue to be developed and to provide advanced options in the future. Security technology is continually improving as new software is developed.
Even though your needs are simple now, your business is far from dormant; it’s a growing entity that transforms all the time. For these reasons, it’s important to choose an access control solution that can grow with your business and adapt to new technologies.
Track record and system maturity is a very important. Typically, the longer the system has been around, the more development has gone into it and the more consideration has been given to develop a complete, robust, and scalable offering.
The same holds true for the access control specialist/provider you are using. Be sure they are experienced with access control systems, having installed many in businesses like yours.
To help ensure your business stays secure, it’s important to choose a security provider that acts as a strategic partner, rather than just a vendor, to help ensure your equipment will continue to function at optimal performance long after it’s initially installed.
It is important to consider all costs over time to decide which system will give you the best value for your investment. Costs related to acquisition, operation, upgrade, maintenance, training, travel and other aspects of owning an EAC system need to be considered.
Be on the lookout for a solution that has scalable options, should you need to add more capabilities – video surveillance, for example – to your plan down the road. Also find out if the solution you’re considering can expand with your business, in case you need to secure additional facilities in the future.
Look for an access control solution that can be used across both desktop and mobile platforms and can be integrated with any technology you already have. Flexibility is key. Choose a solution with mobile integration that works on a variety of devices – both iOS and Android, for example.
Choosing a system that allows you to connect to your EAC system in order to manage system devices, users, and view reports from any device that has access to the Internet, will give you the flexibility to be “connected” to your facility’s security at all times from anywhere.
Consider also, whether a cloud-based or “self-hosted” solution best fits your needs. With a cloud-based solution, everything from data storage to software updates is managed for you and stored on the cloud.